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  1. #1
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    Poland - Katarzyna Z, Krakow, 1998/1999, 'Silence of the Lambs' murder

    Breakthrough in ‘Skin’ enquiry
    29th November 2013

    Police in Krakow believe that they have taken a huge step forward in trying to solve a case dating back to 1999 that was dubbed ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ murder.

    Mutilated human remains had been spotted floating in the Vistula river by the crew of a ship in January 1999. It was originally believed that the corpse must have been mutilated from being struck by ships sailing on the river. It was only after further investigation that police were horrified to discover the limbs had been removed and the torso skinned before the body had ended up in the water. In one of the first instances of DNA testing being used in a criminal case in Poland, it was discovered that the body was that of a 23-year-old woman who had gone missing from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

    The body was in such a dreadful state that forensic experts at the time could not be certain that the victim had been murdered, been involved in a fatal accident or committed suicide. The only thing they could be certain of was that the attacker had used the body after death. “I remember that not just I, but also the colleagues with whom I worked at the scene, we were aware that we are dealing with a continuation, or with some version of the movie Silence of the Lambs,” said Mateusz Ciarka of the Malopolska Police.

    Police psychologists tried to build a profile of the attacker and even consulted with the FBI in their pursuit of an answer to the mystery. Together they built the profile of someone with specialist skills such as a butcher or someone who had worked in forensic medicine.

    The case looked to be heading for a dead-end when another macabre incident took place in Krakow. A male student murdered his father, removed the skin from the head and sewed it into the form of a balaclava before appearing in front of his grandfather pretending to be the father he had murdered. Investigators thought they were close to solving the mystery of the body in the Vistula but enquiries ruled the student out.

    After a year the case was closed because of a lack of evidence but re-opened in 2011 by a specialist police department nicknamed ‘Archiwum X’ (X Files). They exhumed the remains of the young woman and new forensic tests have revealed traces of plants not found in the river where the body was discovered. This has led police to believe that they can pinpoint the place where the body was prior to being dumped in the river.

    “Evidence, which we recovered after the exhumation carried out 13 years after the crime, exceeded the expectations of all the prosecutors, police and scientists” Mr Ciarka told reporters while cautioning them “We have to remain secretive, as the case has been since the beginning”.

  2. #2
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    An article in Polish providing further detail on the victim's disappearance: http://strefatajemnic.onet.pl/ezoter...to-zabil/159re

  3. #3
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    This sounded like an interesting case, but the Polish (language) was a problem for me. Besides "Southern USA English," I know a little German and can recognize a few words from a few other languages. Online translators can only do so much...

    But I found a story about the "X-Files" (Archiwum X) that mentions this murder.

    The Truth is Out There (Krakow Post, Krakow, Poland 12/1/2008)
    The most shocking murder, still unsolved, is a case of a young woman killed 10 years ago in Krakow. The crew of a tugboat that cruised the Vistula River found a sheet of skin. After DNA analysis police were sure that this is was the skin of a missing student who had disappeared a few weeks earlier. The perpetrator had removed the skin from her entire torso.
    The killer was probably inspired by a very popular movie at the time, The Silence of the Lambs, directed by Jonathan Demme. This is a story of a young FBI trainee who is summoned to help find a serial killer called Buffalo Bill. Bill was killing young overweight women so he could remove their skin and fashion a “woman suit” for himself because he believed himself to be transsexual. Eerily enough, the Krakow case is very similar.

  4. #4
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    It's a shame there's not more coverage of this in English, as it is an intriguing case. Here's another article/study, VERY in-depth (and disturbing) even if you have to plug it into a translator. Along with other images, and profiles of the victim and perpetrator, it includes photos of KZ:

    Katarzyna Z..jpg

    The discovery was quite accidental---a barge captain noticed something wrapped around a barge drill after removing it from the water. At first glance, he thought it was leather or a cloth of some sort. He wouldn't have noticed it was human if not for the ear and earring attached to it.
    Last edited by evafiore; 02-11-2015 at 07:54 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure the Silence of the Lambs inspiring the murder is correct. Just one similarity (skinning the victim). If it were truly the killer's inspiration, he was killing to have the skin. They wouldn't have discarded it.

  6. #6
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    Maybe. Though saying the movie inspired the killer doesn't necessarily mean he or she would have been fascinated by every aspect of it. Perhaps they, personally, were not interested in keeping the skin, just the process of removing it.

  7. #7
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    Good grief. This is horrendous.

  8. #8
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    Indeed it is horrifying.

  9. #9
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    This is a more recent case, unless it's a reprint. Well, apparently not the same case as her remains were found at his house. Odd both victims are named Katarzyna. Bizarre. Now he's on the EU's most wanted list.

    Not sure if should have posted here, don't know if there's a thread already.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...er-tracks.html

  10. #10
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    http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/tylko-w-on...wniamy/vj5rq2e

    A 52 year old man named Robert J. was arrested in October 2017 for the murder of Katarzyna. He knew her and it is believed that he lured her to his home and locked her in the basement before torturing and killing her.




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